Ted Baker KSA

WTF is Oil Pulling + Why I’m Hooked

WTF is Oil Pulling Why I'm Hooked

Everyone has a morning routine… mine has recently changed. Let me share::

1. First things first, I battle with my alarm (i.e. hit snooze thirty times).
2. Bitzy then wakes me up, I stumble to the kitchen to feed her and let her out.
3. We both get back into bed & snuggle for a bit.
4. I turn on morning cartoons (not kidding).
5. Head to the kitchen & put a spoonful of coconut oil in my mouth.
6. Get back in bed, set a 20 minute timer, start checking emails.

So, you may be wondering about no. 5. Why the hell am I putting a spoonful of coconut oil in my mouth & then getting back into bed with a 20 minute timer.

Two words. Oil Pulling. One word. Obsessed

Oil pulling has been around for years, which makes me mad I’ve only just found out about it. It’s an ancient Ayurvedic technique that basically involves you swishing oil in your mouth for 20 minutes (no more no less) to help improve your oral & overall health. The idea behind it is pretty simple stupid- the oil is “sticky” and when you swish it around in your mouth bacteria gets stuck in the oil & dissolves.

It’s easy to do. Pick an oil, you can use ORGANIC coconut oil or any other vegetable based oil (Sesame/ Sunflower/ or Olive). I prefer coconut cause it also has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, & anti-inflammatory properties. Put anywhere from a teaspoon to a tablespoon, depending on what you can handle, in your mouth & swish for 20 minutes.

I know, I know you are freaking out about the 20 minute thing, but TRUST me when I say- it flies by. Something about the whole process is relaxing to me. No talking, just swishing. Pull the oil through your teeth & make sure NOT to swallow it. Once you start, that oil fills up with bacteria (which is what you’re trying to get rid of), so you don’t want to swallow it back down!! When your timer beeps, spit out the toxic waste into a plastic baggy or directly into the trash. Don’t spit it down the drain cause the oil will solidify again & mess up your pipes.


Now for the benefits::

I mean… I’ve read quite a few rants & raves about what OP-ing has done for people.

  • Whitens teeth
  • Strengthens your gums/teeth/& jaw. It helps with sensitive teeth & even has reported to help TMJ sufferers like myself.
  • Prevents cavities & gingivitis & benefits overall oral health.
  • Helps ease the symptoms of acne/ eczema/ psoriasis/ & other skin care issues.
  • Helps the ease the symptoms of a hangover (hallelujah!!!) & a migraine.
  • Has been said to help people who have sleep issues.
  • Clears out your sinuses.
  • If you have halitosis, oil pulling has been said to be a big savior for many sufferers. People reported that their morning breath improved greatly.
  • Helps with general oral pain issues.
  • Could assist in hormonal imbalances.
  • I will openly acknowledge that the items listed above are things people over the years have noticed through experience, but there is very little scientific testing done on the process. That said, there are a few studies that haven done on Oil Pulling which you can find here.

All I know is that after doing it myself & seeing improvement in my oral & overall health… I don’t see the harm in continuing.

Plus, my teeth really are so much white, I don’t care what anyone says!!!


Q1: I hate the taste of anything coconut/ I am allergic to coconut. Anything else I can use??::  Absolutely! You can use other vegetable based oils such as cold pressed organic sesame oil, sunflower oil, or olive oil.

Q2: I see that you have pictured refined coconut oil,  but lots of people are saying you should ONLY use unrefined coconut oil??:: Here’s the deal with this one… unrefined coconut oil is better, but all I had on hand at the time was refined. The main thing that helps with the oil pulling is the Lauric Acid in the coconut oil- the refining process could remove some Lauric Acid & add in chemicals/solvents. Yet, by the time the process is complete, there will still be around 50% Lauric Acid and little to none chemicals or solvents left over- so you will still get the benefits. People will have varying opinions on this, but that’s what I’ve found out about using refined coconut oil.

Q3: 20 minutes?! There’s no way I can put oil in my mouth for a full twenty minutes!!:: My first bit of advice– try it! I was a little frightened by the number at first too, but once you get going the time flies. I personally find the process to be relaxing. If at any time your mouth is too full of oil, spit out a little & keep on truckin’.

Q4: Do I NEED to buy organic coconut oil?:: Yes yes yes!! The benefits will be greater with organic oils.

Q5: I gag over weird textures- can I melt it first before I swish?:: Certainly! Many people say no no no to nuking in the microwave cause of radiation, yet if it’s just 10 seconds (which is all you really need) I wouldn’t freak out about it. That said, the better option would be to run the jar under hot water & then pour the liquid into a bowl for swishing.

Q6: Can I OP while pregnant?:: I have read that if you are out of the first trimester you are good to go & pull away. Yet if I were you I would read some forums (a Google search provides a ton of mommy forums discussing this) so that you can make a decision you are 100% confident with!!

Q6: Can I OP while breastfeeding:: I have never had a baby so I have never breastfed but from my research I have read that this mild detox wouldn’t effect your blood stream (which is would would alter your milk). Again, I would do your own research to make a decision that you are comfortable with!

Q7: Oil Pulling with braces/ crowns/ fillings/ dentures. Is it okay?:: The word on these few things vary as well, so again, I don’t want to give too much advice on these issues as I don’t want to be liable for any issues that could arise. From my understanding though, with dentures you should remove them before OP-ing & with fillings it should be okay (haven’t had any negative effects with mine). As for braces & crowns– braces they say it’s fine to Oil Pull, but could whiten around the braces so when you get them off it looks weird. For crowns, there are some reports the act has loosened the crowns or even caused them to fall off. If it were me, I’d avoid it.


By Erica Stolman of Fashionlush